This post is in regard to the CDC's latest reporting of HIV infection in America:
In America the black male/female community is hit hardest, with young gay black men (13-29) in the eye of the hurricane. White gay/bisexual men account for half of all gay related HIV infection rate but it's not amongst the young guys, it's men in their 30's and 40's.
So, there it is: For minority populations it's stigma, lack of effective HIV prevention services and underestimating personal risk and for 30's/40's Whites, it's difficulty maintaining safe sex over years or decades, homophobia, substance abuse and higher HIV rates within the demographic.
It shows 53 percent of the estimated 56,000 cases of new HIV infection in 2006 were among gay and bisexual men, and 46 percent of the infections occurred among blacks. Within the gay and bisexual group, young black men (13 to 29 years old ) were roughly twice as likely to get infected as young white and young Hispanic men. And among women, black women were almost 15 times more likely to get HIV than white women and almost four times more likely than Hispanic women.
"First, the number of new HIV infections among young black [gay and bisexual men] is alarming and shows the need to reach each new generation with prevention early in their lives. Second, the heavy impact of HIV infection in white [gay and bisexual men] in older age groups demonstrates the need for ongoing efforts to keep gay and bisexual men HIV-free over the course of their lifetime. A third finding: compared to women of all races, black women bear the heaviest burden of HIV," Fenton said.
The higher rate of new HIV infections among young gay black men and black women comes as no surprise to Phill Wilson, the CEO and founder of Black AIDS Institute, a think-tank based in Los Angeles, California. "Basically, it affirms what we have known for a long time and what we have been telling the CDC for a very long time," Wilson said."AIDS in America continues to be a black disease as manifested by the numbers," Wilson said. "We have an epidemic that is 40 percent worse than we thought, and African-Americans are grossly disproportionately impacted. Particularly black women and young black gay men."
The CDC study didn't examine the specific factors that account for the heavy burden of HIV among young black gay men, but the CDC has theories.
"Other data suggest a range of possible factors," said Richard Wolitski, acting director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC.
"They include stigma, lack of access to effective HIV prevention services and underestimation of personal risk. In addition, many younger men have not personally experienced the severity of the early AIDS epidemic."
Wolitski said differences in the frequency of high-risk sexual behavior and substance use do not account for this disparity.
White gay and bisexual men account for close to half, or 46 percent, of HIV incidence among gay and bisexual men, but the majority of new infections occurred in men in their 30s, followed by men in the 40s, the CDC found.
"A range of factors likely contribute to continued transmission in these age groups," said Wolitski, noting the marked difference in age at the time of infection in the different racial groups. "They include the difficulty of consistently maintaining safer behaviors for many years or even decades, as well as homophobia, substance abuse and higher HIV prevalence within this group"
In addressing the youth, comprehensive safe sex education and sexual communication is a dire necessity. Did you hear that Mrs. Sarah Palin, Mr. McCain and the Red wallet-sitters, who care more about their stash than the rest of the world? Believe me, Jesus would want to stop an epidemic, especially if it were affecting young people.
If 13 year olds are becoming infected then obviously 13 year olds are having sex. We need to talk about sex as openly and honestly as possible. This isn't going to encourage people to have sex, it will protect them from the consequences of sex. Comprehensive safe sex education can absolutely include the idea of teaching and encouraging young people to wait until they feel they are ready, to keep themselves from succumbing to peer pressure, to teach them that having sex is their decision, but they must know the risks and consequences associated with sex so they do not enter the sexual world totally blind. Safe Sex education and communication needs to happen now.
Addressing the adults:
We've all heard it before, but, okay, I'll say it again. The burden and hope is on all of us! This is our lives, men! Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Young, Old, Top, Bottom, Bisexual, Married, The Just Curious and The Just Something I Tried in College- this is all of our problem and our responsibility. Wake up men!
Why are we allowing this to happen? Even if we understand and know the pleasures of not wearing condoms why aren't we going the extra length to protect our partners and our community? Why have we, the older and more knowledgeable, let slide the idea of protecting one another? Why aren't we celebrating safe sex and celebrating protection of one another? We're all brothers here and yes I know that sounds cliched and roll-of-the-eye Kumbayah but it's true.
Trust me, I've been around the block a
Having No Second Guessing Sex goes so far above and beyond the "it's annoying to wear a condom- I can't perform if I'm wearing a condom" and elevates safe sex to an unbelievable degree. Imagine how good you'll feel, even after cumming, when you can say to yourself "That sex was so good because I know I've done everything in my power to be as safe and responsible as possible. And even if something does happen, even if there was some kind of fluke, at least I know I've tried EVERYTHING in my power to make the right choice and be as responsible for myself and my partner." Even if you had a horrible experience and you say to yourself, "Oh man, dude... that was a terrible lay," you can still say "Hey, at least he and I were safe. At least I don't have to second guess myself."
Develop, practice and enjoy No Second Guessing Sex because that, ladies and gentlemen, tops and bottoms, is the best, most absolute, most blissful sex there is.